Crouching in the undergrowth near Fort Amol, Danifae cast 'Laas' once again. It revealed a young mage outside the fort, apparently picking up ingredients, one inside the courtyard and one on the battlements. It was going to take a coordinated attack to take all three down without raising the alarm.
She indicated to her three companions using hand signals her plan of action. They understood and moved to the attack.
Danifae got out her bow whilst Larkspur sneaked up on the lone mage outside. She wanted to take one alive to question him if possible and he looked the easiest target. She quickly notched an arrow, took aim and fired at the mage on the battlements, aiming for his head. Despite her only seeing out one eye, she was able to hit him in the throat and he went down. A lucky shot considering. He slumped down on the battlements silently and Danifae quickly moved up to the wall beside the entrance. Her Laas shout was quickly fading but she peeped round the wall and saw the other mage, his back to her, seemingly unaware of what was happening. He was busy preparing potions at an alchemy table, so taking no chances she quickly notched another arrow, aimed and fired. This arrow didn't fly true and hit him in the back. He fell forward, crying out and tried crawling towards the nearest door, crying in pain. Lydia and Zora, who had been hiding in the bushes nearby ran out and quickly dispatched him. They dragged him out the gate and into the bushes. Larkspur meanwhile, had sneaked up on the last one and dragged him at knifepoint back down the hill where the others had gathered. It was time to question the young mage.
Zora grabbed the mage by the collar and with her strong arms dragged him to his feet and quickly lashed his arms behind his back with leather strips to stop his spellcasting. Danifae started asking him questions about the fort, how many were in there and if he had seen a Thalmor by the name of Ancano recently. The mage, who was resistant at first, soon broke down when Danifae started to apply pain to certain parts of his anatomy. She had no sympathy for necromancers, considering the dead bodies she had seen in the courtyard, some of which had been Stormcloaks. She learnt there were half a dozen acolytes and the leader inside the fort. The leader was dressed in elaborate robes and would likely be in the main hall and would likely know more than he did. He was also powerful in frost spells, so Danifae knew she would need to be wary. He also said that a High Elf named Ancano had visited with the leader (whose name was Micah) a few times but being a young acolyte he wasn't privy to what was said.
So, Danifae decided they would need to go and speak to Micah and that would mean entering the fort. She decided to bring along the acolyte as a hostage, so Zora gagged him and marched him along by the collar. Casting Laas, Danifae was able to see where the mages were lurking. She decided to take the highest door in the fort and work their way down. The first door they entered seemed to be a sleeping area and there were a couple of mages asleep. Larkspur and Danifae used their hunting knives to slit their throats as they slept whilst Lydia kept an eye on the stairs. The acolyte struggled in Zora's grasp but she told him in no uncertain terms that she could break his neck, so he ceased.
Heading quietly down the stairs they came to a dining area with a big fire. Casting Laas, Danifae could see that there were three more mages in the room. There was one on each side of the room and one was sitting in the middle. Peeking round the doorway, she saw this could prove difficult to down all three at once. She couldn't reach the one sitting in the middle from the angle of the doorway with her bow and the other two were both so far apart that taking down one would raise the alarm of the other two. Larkspur would have to help with his bow here. So, timing their shots perfectly they were able to shoot both mages on either side. This made the one in the middle start casting spells and he raised up a barrier and started casting powerful frost spells and raised a Frost Atronach. They had to duck behind the door, but the problem was that the snowstorm spell had a wide area of effect and started affecting them with cold. Danifae had made some frost resistance potions earlier and had dished the bottles out to her friends. They all drank them now, except for Zora , who was struggling with the acolyte. The frost storm hit the acolyte and went right through him and blasted into Zora, who collapsed on the floor underneath the body of the acolyte. Larkspur and Lydia were battling with the Frost Atronach by this time in the open room.
Danifae screamed 'ZORA! NO!' and felt an immense rage building up inside her, quite unlike anything she had felt before. She shouted 'FUS RO' and hit Micah with unrelenting force. He was staggered and lost his concentration on whatever spell he was trying to cast. She charged into the room whilst Micah was recovering. Micah fired some frost shards at Danifae and she felt the chill wash through her. Throwing up her shield and drawing her axe she bundled into Micah, who rolled underneath and Danifae tripped and fell over his trailing leg, her axe flying from her hand. Lying on her face she heard a laugh behind her and the sound of a frost shard spell being readied. Rolling over onto her back and trying to raise her shield, she saw Micah getting to his feet and the frost shard spell flying towards her. It hit the edge of her shield but some of it got past and hit her in the chest. She felt the breath being knocked from her lungs and Micah was getting ready to cast the frost storm spell again. Lydia and Larkspur were still battling the Frost Atronach and were hard put to bring it down. By the divines, this mage was powerful! Danifae knew that she had to kill Micah to dispel the Atronach but she was lying on her back, gasping for breath. Just when the frost storm spell was ready to be released, Danifae raised her shield in front of her face and did her best to crawl along the floor. Just then she heard a crunching sound and a gurgling noise and the sound of a body falling to the floor. Looking round her shield she saw Micah lying on the floor with a puddle of blood where his head used to be. It had been crushed like a gourd. Just beyond him stood Zora, her mighty battlehammer in her hands. She was covered in frost and it looked like she had been caught in a snowstorm, she was all white. She smiled at Danifae, staggered and the hammer fell from her hands. She fell to the floor and lay still and Danifae felt like a heavy weight was on her chest. Gasping for breath, she crawled towards her friend, saying 'Zora, please by the divines, not Zora, by Kynareth, Mara, please save her', then it went dark...